Annual Fund 2014
Our 2014 Fund for Westminster Parent Telethon is now underway and our dedicated team of OW callers is hard at work providing updates on School events and activities, gathering your suggestions and feedback and encouraging support for some very special projects. We would like to encourage all of Westminster’s current and former parents to take a moment for a quick chat and very much hope that you will choose to lend your support to this year’s appeal. In 2013, participation from parents reached 40% - an amazing achievement- and this year we are working hard to make sure that figure rises even higher. More information on out 2014 projects can be found here and huge thanks in advance for your support!
Refurbishment work begins in Little Dean’s Yard
Huge change is underway in Little Dean’s Yard where work has begun to lay our beautiful new paving stones! With a completion date of December 2014, the School will ring in the New Year with a fully restored central courtyard containing a number of special stones carved with the names of OWW past and present. There is still time to secure your own piece of Westminster history and a number of great locations are available for sponsorship. Further information on sponsoring a stone can be found here.
The 2014 Fund for Westminster Appeal
The OW portion of Westminster’s 2014 Annual Fund Campaign has now concluded, and we would like to say a huge thank you to all of the Old Westminsters who have given so generously. This year’s group of student callers were certainly a very industrious bunch and we couldn’t be more pleased with the results! Please remember that even though the calling has ended you can still make a donation, and we would like to encourage everyone to read more about this year’s chosen projects here.
Feature Article: A Portrait of Dr Stephen Spurr by Daphne Todd OBE
Daphne Todd is one of our leading portrait artists. She served as President of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters (1994-2000) and was awarded an OBE for services to the Arts in 2002. In 2010 she won First Prize in the BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery, for a striking picture of her dead mother.
Unlike many portrait artists, she only works from life and never uses photographs. When, following tradition, the Governors of Westminster School decided to commission a portrait of the retiring Head Master a shortlist was drawn up and Dr Spurr picked Daphne Todd. The resulting portrait is in the form of a continuous triptych, which gives it an unusual stepped shape. It depicts Dr Spurr sitting on the window sill of a top-floor classroom on the north side of Little Dean’s Yard. The Head Master is shown as a full-length figure wearing his red cassock and academic gown. The view through the window is over Ashburnham Garden to the western towers of the Abbey and beyond to the Central Hall. This is one of several symbolic elements in the picture, emphasising the School’s links with Westminster Abbey and with the wider world beyond. Other symbols include the blank piece of paper that rests on the sill, perhaps indicating the opportunities education can provide, while the open door on the left suggests the new future that opens up to Westminster pupils.
This is obviously not the traditional ‘head and shoulders’ portrait that is often the outcome of such commissions. Instead the School has acquired a major work by a major artist and that is an entirely suitable tribute to a very successful Head Master. It will stand the test of time.